A few months ago, Gourav Mukhi found himself in the record books when he found the back of the net. At 16, he was the youngest goal-scorer in the history of the Indian Super League and pretty much the toast of the tournament.
THREAD: On Gourav Mukhi, the champion 16-year-old forward who plays for ISL franchise @JamshedpurFC and who scored against @bengalurufc today in the 2-2 draw. He becomes ISL’s younger ever goalscorer (which, of course, will be repeated once every 17 mins on avg. the rest of ISL). pic.twitter.com/dyppvWJw2Z
— Akarsh Sharma (@Akarsh_Official) October 7, 2018
Mukhi even credited Aussie teammate Tim Cahill with helping him develop as a player.
“Tim motivated me a lot, he showed me his techniques which helped me score two goals,” he told his club.
“This is the best moment of your life,” @Tim_Cahill to tonight’s goal scorer Gourav Mukhi.
— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) October 7, 2018
But there is just one problem. He is actually 28! No this is not some satirical piece. Mukhi is a 28-year-old who passed himself off as a teenager. Shocking right? Well, the truth is stranger than fiction.
The Jamshedpur FC player has been banned for 6 months by the AIFF. But the question remains, how did he get away by lying about his age for so long?
In a short statement released by the national football federation, the AIFF said the following:
“All India Football Federation (AIFF) Disciplinary Committee has imposed a six-month suspension on Jamshedpur FC player Gourav Mukhi with immediate effect.”
“The AIFF Disciplinary Committee found the player Gourav Mukhi guilty on the basis of the evidence presented by him, his admissions and the statements of Manager of U-16 AIFF academy in 2015.”
The ISL is clearly red-faced as its ‘Boy Wonder’ turns out to be very much a man. But it was the sudden interest in him that led to uncovering reports of him lying about his age when he was selected for the U-17 FIFA World Cup squad back in 2015.
“The AIFF Disciplinary Committee also observed that the existing registration of Gourav Mukhi, both in the Central Registration System (CRS) as well as the Competition Management System (CMS) shall stand cancelled and revoked with immediate effect, with liberty upon the player/his appropriate club, to submit original valid appropriate documents for fresh registration under CRS and CMS”, concluded the statement.
Even before he scored the famous goal, a piece in Telegraph India had published a piece on him where they referred to him as 28 years old but for some reason, the ISL failed to spot it.
This isn’t the first time Mukhi has been involved in age fraud. The player was caught in 2015 during a National Championship.
This bizarre story just shows how this age verification process has to be vetted really well.
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